Performance – The 2017 Audi A4 is offered with the same 2.0-litre diesel engine with the 35 TDI nomenclature. The engine produces 188 HP of power at 4200 RPM and 400 Nm of twisting force between 1750 to 2500 RPM. The engine is now mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, unlike the earlier A4 which came with a CVT unit. Power is sent to the front wheels and there is no quattro on offer. The engine feels refined and isn’t too noisy. Power delivery is smooth and instantaneous and the sedan responds well to throttle inputs. Turbo lag isn’t felt much and the surge of power post 2000 RPM is very strong and continues till a notch above 4500 RPM. Top speed is a claimed 237 km/hr but progress dulls post 200 km/hr.
The dual-clutch gearbox is smooth shifting & way better than the older CVT
The A4 feels sprightly and eager. The gearbox understands driving styles well and responds very quickly. Gear shifts also happen fast. The new A4 is lighter than the older model by around 150 kgs and thanks to that, it feels even more livelier to drive. You also get paddle shifters and the option of shifting gears with the gear knob too. The TDI mill is also very efficient and churns out 14-15 km/l on the highways if driven sedately while under hard driving, efficiency drops down to 9-10 km/l (ARAI rating is 18.25 km/l). You get driving modes like Comfort, Dynamic, Individual and Auto though the A4 doesn’t come with an Eco mode.
Driving Dynamics – The Audi A4 has a very good ride and the suspension soaks up bumps with ease. There is no stiffness and the sedan remains fairly composed most of the times. The suspension also feels very silent and there are no unnecessary thuds on sharp undulations too. Talking about the steering, it is direct and precise but lacks feel and even though it provides safe and predictable handling, it just lacks the involvement that rivals in the same segment provide. You can better the steering feel by switching to Dynamic mode which stiffens the wheel. The suspension remains the same in all the modes though. The tyres have excellent grip and even the stopping power is very good.
Verdict – The Audi A4 diesel offers a blend of looks, luxury, technology, performance and comfort. It is a very superior package and the German automaker has hit most of the right strings to make it a well-rounded sedan. It isn’t very engaging to drive but makes for a comfortable cruiser and the not-too-big size makes it perfect to potter around the city too. You’ll like the new A4 if you want to go somewhere in style and don’t mind losing out on some of the fun factor to compensate for all the other wonderful things that this Audi has to offer.
* Looks classy and understated
* Interiors are awesome, lots of cool tech
* Ride quality is plush & comfortable
* Engine has good punch, transmission is smooth & quick too
What’s Not So Cool
* Could have been more fun to drive
* Slower than the BMW 320d
Alternatives: Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series, Jaguar XE, Volvo S60